What is Meta description?
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. These are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a particular page. These tags may not be important to search engine rankings but are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs are a boom for webmaster’s as it helps to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they’re looking for or not.
The Meta description should not only employ the keywords intelligently, but also create an appealing description that a searcher will want to click. Direct compatibility and connection to the page and uniqueness between each page’s Meta description is key. This description should ideally be between 150-160 characters. These tag serves the function of advertising copy. It draws reader’s attention to a website from the SERP and so, is an extremely important part of search marketing. Designing a readable, compelling and appealing description using important keywords can improve the click-through rate for a particular given webpage. To increase click-through rates to the maximum on search engine result pages, it’s important to note that Google, Bing and Yahoo bold keywords in the description when they match search queries.
Some of the important things while writing Meta description
Ideal Length: Meta descriptions can be of any length, but search engines generally do not consider snippets longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep these between 150 and 160 characters.
Avoid duplicate Meta description tags: As with title tags, it is important that these tags should be unique on each page. One way to overcome duplicate Meta descriptions is to create a dynamic and programmatic way to make unique tags for automated pages
Sometimes it is Okay Not to Write Meta Descriptions: Although conventional logic would hold that it’s universally wiser to write a good Meta description, rather than let the engines wipe out a given web page, this isn’t always the case. Just follow the general rule that if the page is targeting between one and three heavily searched terms, go with a meta description that hits those users performing that search. If the page is focussing on heavy traffic for example, with hundreds of articles or blogs or for that matter even a huge product catalogue it can sometimes be wiser to let the engines extract the relevant text, themselves. The reason is very straight and simple – When engines pull, they always display the keywords and phrases that the user has searched for. If a webmaster forces these valuable descriptions they can detract from the relevance the engines make naturally. In some cases, they’ll overrule these descriptions in anyway, but a webmaster cannot always rely on the engines to use the more relevant text in the SERP. These are the valuable things which one needs to keep in mind.